By Wayne Veysey

14th Jan, 2021 | 7:00am

Exclusive: Big update on Aston Villa letting Hourihane go this month

Aston Villa are weighing up letting Conor Hourihane leave this month, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The versatile midfielder, 29, has been an integral player during his four years at the club but has struggled for game time this season.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that club chiefs are considering allowing Hourihane to head out of Villa Park before the 1 February cut-off, most likely on loan.

There is extensive interest in the Republic of Ireland international, who is proven in all four professional divisions in England.

Hourihane was a key player for Villa last season on their Premier League return.

He was a key goalscorer and creator for the team, scoring seven goals and supplying five assists from 34 appearances, 18 of which were league starts.

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But the galaxy of stars who joined last summer, including Ollie Watkins, Ross Barkley and Bertrand Traore, has seen him slip down the pecking order this season.

Dean Smith has kept a settled side, with John McGinn and Douglas Luiz forming an impressive central midfield partnership.

Hourihane can also play further up the pitch in attacking midfield roles but has made just three Premier League starts among five appearances in all competitions.

The former Barnsley and Plymouth Argyle star has been a big hit at Villa since joining in January 2017.

He has played 150 times for the Midlands giants, scoring an impressive 29 goals as well as supplying 23 assists.

In other news, Aston Villa senior star has rejected move after Christian Purslow agreed terms of the deal.